Interview with Taz by Don O Mahony in yesterdays Echo
Dubculture bring Glaswegian dubstep rabble-rouser Taz Buckfaster to Cork for a gig this Saturday at City Limits. Entering into his late 20 now, Taz has been making music for about a decade, all the time following wherever his ears led him. Beginning with house and techno he moved on to grime before settling on dubstep. So far he’s released stuff on Dubkraft, Ramp and Rwina but he’s also associated with Glasgow’s Numbers collective and is about to drop his latest release, Recovery, on Subway. A look on his MySpace page reveals that he has previews of a load of tunes that are ready to go. “They represent my more recent offerings,” he explains. “I work with a few labels, so they're spread around. Future Funk is coming on the second 12" I'm doing for Numbers, with Gold Tooth Grin coming soon on the first. The others are in the process of being signed.” If any Taz Buckfaster tunes fits his stated aim of making tunes for dancefloors, couches, bassbins and headphones it is Gold Toot Grin, a track that is getting a lot of people excited. “It's certainly the most asked-about tune I've ever made,” he acknowledges. “I'm glad it's got people excited.” Another feature of most these recent tracks is the strong keyboard lines. Despite being able to play guitar and having such a knack for a keyboard melody it’s a surprise to this listener to learn he hasn’t been using keyboards for long. “I only really learnt how to play my keyboard relatively recently, and I wasn't really trying,” he shrugs. “It just kinda worked. Before that I was strictly a programmer; writing each note or hit in individually.” Still there’s no denying his love of Rick James and g-funk, and even p-funk inspired synth grooves. “Yeah, I've got plenty of love for artists like Rick James, Roger Troutman & Zap, George Clinton/Parliament, Prince, Stevie Wonder, etc. They're a definite influence.” One of his new tracks, Fine Day, resurrects the celebrated winsome female vocal sample beloved of beloved of early 90s trailblazers such as Opus III, Orbital and A Guy Called Gerald as well as numerous wack versions. Given his citing of masked ‘ardcore heroes Altern-8 as an influence it’s not surprising he alighted on this. “I absolutely loved Hardcore Rave as a kid, starting off with the Hit The Decks compilations my older cousin gave me when I was in primary school and the fascination grew as Jungle and D ‘n’ B came about, so I went back to some of the records I used to listen to and that vocal stood out. It works well on the track.” With so many tunes ready to go one wonders what the story is with his album, which he announced last year was imminent on Rwina. “I recorded an album last year, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist in that department and the tracks didn't seem to gel like I wanted them to, so I decided to split it up and release certain tunes together on separate releases and work on a new album in the meantime. In addition, each new release raises my profile and gets new people's attention, so once I'm satisfied it'll reach enough pairs of ears to do it justice, the new-and-improved album will hit the shelves.”
In Da Box
Gold Tooth Grin by Taz Buckfaster
No person called Buckfaster has the right to create something this glorious. Yes, it’s geezerish and a bit lairy but it’s also utterly sublime. It’s got sleigh bells (the new cowbell?) and an undulating organ that sounds like it was rinsed in liquid gold and a majestically stoned g-funk keyboard. Elegantly devastating.
Taz Buckfaster plays City Limits, Coburg Street, on Saturday 12 June.